Delivered

by Mark Erelli

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about

"Delivered" connotes a crossroads, a transition or turning point. We cannot be delivered from one thing without being delivered into something else, which is to say, without being changed. It's an apt title for Erelli's new collection. Delivered is a recording born of change, a reckoning of new things seen and old things seen anew.

"Erelli makes grown-up music with the verve and enthusiasm of an 18-year-old. The catchy, inspired hook of "Five Beer Moon" and the measured crescendo waltz of "Not Alone" will remind even the pickiest listeners that music can be smart and relevant and moving without sacrificing rhythm and joy." --Vintage Guitar

credits

released September 16, 2008

Produced by Zack Hickman

Mark Erelli - vocals, harmonica, acoustic, tenor, resonator, high-strung & electric guitars
Zack Hickman - electric & upright bass, bass clarinet, harmonica, toy piano, pump organ, percussion, additional guitars & keyboards
Liam Hurley - drums

With additional musicians:
Wes Corbett - banjo
Matt Douglass - alto & baritone sax, flute
Sam Kassirer - piano, organ, keyboards, vibraphone
Austin Nevins - baritone & electric guitars, glockenspiel
Aoife O'Donovan - vocals
Eric Platz - percussion
Alec Spiegelman - bass clarinet

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about

Mark Erelli Boston, Massachusetts

Mark Erelli completed a masters in evolutionary biology just after his self-titled debut was released in 1999. He has won several prestigious awards, and has 7 records to his name, including collections of western swing, lullabies and songs of stirring social conscience. In recent years, he has gained notoriety as a mulit-instrumentalist sideman with artists such as Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter. ... more

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Track Name: Hope Dies Last
The alarm goes off and you hit the shower first
I make the coffee it's a routine we've rehearsed
Turn the radio on and they're wishing us a happy new year
But nothing much has changed here

Another suicide bomb at a market in the Middle East
The authorities estimate 28 dead, at least
Sand soaked with martyr's blood and mothers' tears
Nothing much has changed here

The whole country's holding those coal in its prayers
Counting down how long they've gone without air
The reporter does his best to sound sincere
Nothing much has changed here

Now there's a man of God saying something 'bout New Orleans
How the Mississippi River gonna wash them sinners clean
Oh the righteous prey on ignorance and fear
Nothing much has changed here

And there's a storm coming on fast
Better last yourself to the mast
But of all that comes to pass
Hope dies last

Politicians pointing fingers like they always do
When there's a scandal looming larger in the rearview
When elections may be closer than they appear
Nothing much has changed here

In the eyes of the President citizens are enemies
He'd rather talk to Jesus than to anyone who disagrees
But the phones are bugged and Big Brother is all ears
Nothing much has changed here

(Refrain)

Sometimes it's all that you can do to avert your eyes
If you let too much in it will leave you paralyzed
In a world where all you love could disappear
Nothing much has changed here

So I take you in my arms before you leave for work
I got a love for you so fierce and true it hurts
You smile at something that I whisper in your ear
Nothing has changed
Oh nothing has changed
Nothing's ever gonna change here

----------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman - upright bass, bass clarinet, harmonica, pump organ
Track Name: Baltimore
It's an eight hour drive up to Somerville
Somerville
To Somerville
I got a big cup of coffee and a bottle of little white pills
Little white pills
Little white pills

Turn the radio up 'cause I just want to hear the sound
Of someone's voice
Someone's voice
Mr. State Trooper please don't stop me now
I can't slow down
I got no choice

I come flying o'er the Delaware and across the Tappan Zee
Wondering what I got to do to make you reconsider me
Honey, don't turn me back from your door
I come all the way from Baltimore

I got a pawn shop ring and a yellow rose bouquet
Honey, that I bought
In a cheap truck stop
Hardly seems enough to prove to you I've changed
Well, maybe it ain't
But it's all I got

I know you've had all the heartache you can take from me
So I won't make no excuses for the fool I used to be
Honey, don't turn me back from your door
I come all the way from Baltimore

It's an eight hour drive but I did it in six
Did it in six
Did it in six
There was a time I thought I could live without your kiss
Now I ain't ashamed
To let you see me like this

Like a moth circlin' round your front porch light
Like a ship out on the ocean to a beacon in the night
Baby I made my way to your door
And I come all the way from Baltimore

-------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, tenor guitar
Zack Hickman - electric bass,
Liam Hurley - drums
Sam Kassirer - piano, organ, keyboards, vibraphone
Austin Nevins – baritone & electric guitars
Eric Platz - percussion
Track Name: Shadowland
In the darkness
I look in their eyes and I do my best
I'm a long, long way from the Midwest
At this checkpoint post tonight
So it's lock and load
When a bomb goes off by the side of the road
And a buddy of mine with a new wife at home
Disappears in a flash of light

And we're off to save the day
Now there'll be hell to pay

(Chorus)
In Shadowland
There is no evidence of any plan
Just a boy with a rifle in his hand
Who volunteered to pay the cost
For everything we've lost
Here in Shadowland

Handcuffed
In a cold, tile room 'neath a bare lightbulb
There's nothing that you won't divulge
Yes I've seen it in your kind
'Cause you're the enemy
Our God is stronger than your's you see
Did you pull the trigger on that IED
Or were you just in the wrong place at the wrong time

I've orders to obey
So there'll be hell to pay

(Chorus)
In Shadowland
The slippery slope where we've made our stand
Where the blame flows down the chain of command
And when that line is crossed
They rewrite all the laws
Here in Shadowland

When you're dancing with a devil of your own design
You sink down to his level every time

When the Judgement comes
God will sort the chosen ones
By the dark of dawn and the midnight sun
Will pierce the fog of war
So they dodge the blame
The low men in the temple claim
That they do all this in Jesus' name
To make us safer and more secure

So don't get in our way
Or there'll be hell to pay

(Chorus)
In Shadowland
There is no evidence of God's hand
In the darkness on the desert sand
The high ground has been lost
At far too high a cost
Here in Shadowland

-------------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, electric guitar
Zack Hickman - electric bass
Liam Hurley - drums
Track Name: Volunteers
I played with army men as a boy in my backyard
I was18 when I joined the National Guard
I cakewalked basic and they paid for my degree
All for filling up sandbags and clearing storm debris

I had just re-upped at the base in my hometown
But the whole deal changed on the day that the planes went down
Just a casual soldier, 12 weekends a year
I was Baghdad bound when they called up the volunteers

We'd seen more than enough to know that war is hell
But we were thinking that we had it made once the capital fell
We partied in the palace while we waited to withdraw
'Til things started going south both sides of the wall

First the looting, the suicide bombers and IED's
Then the prisons, the torture and all those pictures on TV
The kickbacks, the blackouts, the martyrs and the fear
Now everyone in Babylon blames the volunteers

We hit a roadside bomb on a convoy late one night
I was fine but this buddy of mine probably should have died
They radioed a Medevac and I tried to keep him warm
Now he's back home learning how to feed himself with two new arms

And there are others who suffer from wounds that you can't see
So they try to forget and go back home to their jobs and their families
Yeah, we got paid, no one made us come over here
But it ain't close to an even trade for the volunteers

Maybe we'll all be judged by history and God
Maybe the best way to honor the departed is to finish the job
But while they argue who's winning, and whether we should go or stay
Over here it's a victory just to make it through another day

Me I'm long past making any sense of the blood I've spilled
It's hard to believe all this is part of any God's will
And if you find I've fallen after all the smoke has cleared
Let the record show
I volunteered

-----------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, resonator guitar
Track Name: Five Beer Moon
Thank god it's quitting time
Can't take no more of this weekday grind
But I ain't ready to head back home and watch TV
Guess I'll drive down to the pier
Let the sun go down on a six pack of beer
Stare out through my windshield at the sea

In this gritty seacoast town
Where the water pounds the sand
Don't know why I'm so surprised
Things didn't work out like I planned

If I was a wave out on the ocean
If I was a wave out on the sea
Free to go whichever way the wind was blowing
Maybe wash up on some farther shore
Where these blues can't follow me

Got a small apartment on Munjoy Hill
Didn't want too much space to fill
It's just a bed, a pull out couch and a kitchenette
Weekends my kid ain't sleeping over
There's just no point in trying to stay sober
'Cause there ain't no good example I need set

In this gritty seacoast town
Where the winter never ends
Twice a day the tide goes out
Heaven knows why it ever rolls back in

(Chorus)

Maybe it's destiny
Or just my mind playing tricks on me
Keeps me wanting something that's always out of reach
Maybe there's somebody somewhere else
Who's somehow managed to convince himself
He'd be happier if he washed up on this beach

In this gritty seacoast town
Five beer moon shining down on me
I'll save the last one 'til I get back home
God, I hope there ain't no re-runs on TV

(Chorus)

-------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman - electric bass, toy piano, keyboards
Liam Hurley - drums

Wes Corbett - banjo
Austin Nevins - baritone & electric guitars, glockenspiel
Track Name: Not Alone
There is a mist on the mountain
After a deep green summer rain
The highway is steaming
And the tires seem to whisper your name
As I blow by the crows
Picking through the new mown fields
I know I'm not alone
But that's the way it feels

Small town Sunday morning
And the children all dressed up for church
The bells are a-ringin'
And I'm a-thinkin' for whatever it's worth
That I might find some comfort
If I could just learn how to kneel
I know I'm not alone
But that's the way it feels

By the ocean in motion
I'm hopelessly hypnotized
It's just wave upon wave
As blue as my true love's eyes
Til the sun clouds over
And the water turns the color of steel
I know I'm not alone
But loneliness feels so real

Every leaf on the cottonwood trees
Is trembling in the wind
I'm down by the river
Waiting for the evening rise to begin
My sorrow's turning over
As slowly as an old mill wheel
You let enough time go by
And all wounds eventually heal

In the concrete canyons of the city
In the falling dark
Neon heart beating
And the streetlights drown out the stars
Am I waiting on salvation
Or just singing for my next meal
Oh it's either feast or it's famine
And it's all just a part of the deal

Every atom in my body is shaking
Like I've just seen a ghost
I've got big dreams baby
And I ain't afraid to gamble with what I love most
But I'm coming home tomorrow
If I have to beg, borrow or steal
I know I'm not alone
I know I'm not alone
I know I'm not alone
But that's the way it feels

--------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman - upright bass
Liam Hurley - drums

Matt Douglass - alto & baritone sax
Sam Kassirer - piano, organ
Alec Spiegelman - bass clarinet
Track Name: Delivered
Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
For all you cannot change

Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
For all you cannot change

We may pass out on that great sad river
Two boats approaching on a moonless night
Each of us in our own way delivered
Each soul heading toward a distant light
(Each soul readied for a different flight)

I will know peace
I will know peace
I will know peace
After all the pain

I'm going home
I'm going home
I'm going home
But my love will remain

(Chorus)

This blood like wine
This blood like wine
This blood like wine
Sings in both our veins

(So…) Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
Don't cry my love
For all you cannot change
My love will remain
This you cannot change

-------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, tenor guitar
Zack Hickman - upright bass
Liam Hurley - drums

Sam Kassirer - piano, organ
Aoife O'Donovan - vocals
Track Name: Man Of The Family
Children are laughing
In the schoolyard next door
You can hear 'em through the stone walls
And the stained glass as they play
Seems like yesterday

Your mother she's shaking
Like a baby bird
Perched in the front pew of the church
Where they said their vows
And you're the man of the family now

You're the man of the family now
No you can't let 'em see you break down
When you don't know what to do
You're gonna have to muddle through somehow
Somehow
You're the man of the family now

Your mother seems older
Now her hair's gone gray
She's passing out roses from the casket bouquet
You give one to your wife
But you don't know what to say

'Cause you just had a baby
Bought your first house
It's all you can do to tread water
Without feeling like you're gonna drown
Every day brings another doubt

(Chorus)

And there's a little voice inside you
Saying you ain't paid your dues
You ain't big enough to fill the old man's shoes
But there's a picture on the mantle
Where he's reaching out to you
So you'll follow his example
What else can you do

You're going bald just like he did
But that ain't no shock
So you take his old toolbox
Make a few small repairs around the house
That should hold for now

(Chorus)

--------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Zack Hickman - electric bass, percussion
Liam Hurley - drums

Matt Douglass - alto & baritone sax
Sam Kassirer - organ, keyboards
Alec Spiegelman - bass clarinet
Track Name: Once
I turned 33 in Canada and wasn't even carded
Drinking to the newly born and souls of the departed
Oh my Jesus year be damned
it feels like I'm just getting started

The older I become I see it's all related
Pleasures they get simpler and the troubles more complicated
But I don't ask for all that much
'long as I don't have to fake it

Everyone should know this kind of love
Once in a lifetime
Once
Everyone should know this kind of love
Once in a lifetime
Once

You razed the walls around my heart I never knew were there
The unexpected answer to some unintended prayer
That I've done nothing to deserve it
is a cross that I will gladly bear

(Chorus)

Oh one and one make two and now the two make three
I want to show you all I know but somehow you're teaching me
And it takes everything I got
to just sit back and let it be
Oh to just sit back and let it…

Everyone should know this kind of love
Once in a lifetime
Once
Everyone should know this kind of love
Once in a lifetime
Once
Once
Once

----------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, electric guitar
Zack Hickman - electric bass
Liam Hurley - drums
Sam Kassirer - keyboards, vibraphone
Track Name: Unraveled
I can hear the engineer blowin' his horn
Somehow it's both a major and a minor chord
The train still runs it just don't stop no more
And I'm standing by the tracks alone

I see a fallow field and a leaning barn
I come unraveled like a ball of yarn
Ain't nothing more sad than an abandoned farm
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home

I was young when I followed the highway sign
Chasing salvation on the dotted line
I ain't giving up I just changed my mind
Maybe it's a waste of time
You oughta know I ain't never been the praying kind

Birds like buckshot whistle and wheel
In the gun-metal sky above the stubblefield
There ain't no word for word for the way I feel
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home

I thought all I needed to pay my dues
Was a beat-up guitar and some traveling shoes
But I didn't know shit about singing the blues
It's a hard way to learn the truth
If you've got more to love you got more to lose

Seen a Jesus bird preaching where the river bends
Roadside trash crucified on a barbed wire fence
Maybe somebody died for someone's sins
And we're all gonna have to atone

But the road turn gold when the sun come up
Won't you send me a sign when I've given enough
I'm two thousand miles from the one I love
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home
Lord I'm tired and I wanna go home

------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman - upright bass
Liam Hurley - drums

Wes Corbett - banjo
Sam Kassirer - organ
Track Name: Abraham
O Abraham
How far the mighty we have fallen
How I pray you hear me calling
In the hour of despair
In the Promised Land
Where every promise has been broken
And every vote feels like a token
For a ride that goes nowhere

So rise up
Rise up
Rise up

O the words you spoke
Of a far more perfect union
Reaching out to the disillusioned
Still set our souls to sing
But what of hope
We need it now more than ever
And I keep listening for feathers
But I hear the flap of leathery wings

So rise up
Rise up
We've more in common than divides us
But we need someone to guide us
Through the sorrow and the shadows we have sown
O Abraham
Rise up from your marble throne

O Abraham
Gazing out over the fountain
Sitting silent as a mountain
Say it wasn't all in vain
Though I understand
Why another wise man won't come forward
When all the others were rewarded
With a bullet in the brain

So rise up
Rise up
Rise up
Rise up
We've more in common than divides us
But we need someone to guide us
For we've never been so lost and so alone
O Abraham
Rise up from your marble throne
O Abraham
Rise up, rise up

--------------------

Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar
Zack Hickman - upright bass
Liam Hurley - drums

Matt Douglass - alto & baritone sax, flute
Sam Kassirer - piano, organ
Alec Spiegelman - bass clarinet